02/01/2017: Celebrating 50 Years of Ministry, Wycliffe Associates Looks to Unprecedented Progress in Bible Translation via Technology
(Orlando, Florida, USA)—Wycliffe Associates, an international organization involving people in the advancement of Bible translation, is celebrating 50 years of ministry this year while anticipating a record number of new Bible translation starts for 2017.
“Our mission has been, and continues to be, involving people in the advancement of Bible translation,” said Dr. Bruce Smith, President and CEO of Wycliffe Associates. “But over the years, many things have changed. The people involved are increasingly international. The tools are now computer hardware and software technology. And the quality and progress in Bible translation is absolutely unprecedented.”
The organization was founded in 1967 when Bill Butler, Dale Kietzman, and Rudy Renfer realized that Bible translators were spending valuable time on non-translation tasks and could benefit from the help of Christian business professionals with a heart for service. By contributing a wide variety of skills to support Bible translation, non-translators could free up thousands of hours of translation time for Bible translators each year.
Since then, Wycliffe Associates has constructed hundreds of facilities, buildings, and guesthouses for missionaries, raised millions of dollars for Bible translation, and helped send thousands of Bible translators and support personnel to the mission field.
In 2000, Wycliffe Associates expanded its services to provide Bible translators with technology, logistical and operational support, accelerated translation strategies, and greater financial resources. The result has been empowering indigenous Bible translation teams under the authority of local churches in each language and accelerating Bible translation in remote regions of the world where Christianity is a minority, even persecuted, religion.
Wycliffe Associates further accelerated the Bible translation process for mother tongue Bible translators when it developed and tested a groundbreaking new Bible translation method in 2014 known as MAST (Mobilized Assistance Supporting Translation). In a pilot workshop in Southeast Asia, a small group of 13 national translators worked in parallel to translate half the New Testament in just two weeks while maintaining scriptural integrity and accuracy. Using the MAST method, Wycliffe Associates anticipates that in 2017, it will reach 1,000 Bible translation starts—more Bible translation launches than ever before in the history of the organization.
“Our breakthrough MAST strategy is accelerating Bible translation beyond anything we could have imagined, even a couple of years ago,” said Smith. “It is not Westerners going into remote areas—it’s nationals being equipped to translate God’s Word themselves.”
Wycliffe Associates has committed to an initiative called Vision 2025, a plan to have a Bible in every language by the year 2025.
“This is a God-sized goal,” said Smith, “considering that more than 3,300 translation projects have yet to begin.”
About Wycliffe Associates
One of the world’s leading Bible translation organizations, Wycliffe Associates accelerates the work of Bible translation by empowering national Bible translators to provide God’s Word in their own language, partners with the local church to direct and guard translation work, harnessing their passion and desire for God’s Word, and engages people from all around the world to provide resources, technology, training, and support for Bible translation.
Because millions of people around the world still wait to have the Scriptures in the language of their hearts, Wycliffe Associates is working as quickly as it can to see every verse of God’s Word translated into every tongue to speak to every heart. Wycliffe Associates is directly involved with speeding Bible translation by providing technology, training, resources, logistics, networking, expertise, volunteers, discipleship, church planting, and support. Last year, 7,097 Wycliffe Associates staff and volunteers worked to speed Bible translations in 76 countries. For more information, please see www.wycliffeassociates.org.
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